May 10, 2013
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Fourth seeded Niagara plated three runs in the top of the seventh to defeat MAAC Regular Season Champion Siena Softball 6-3 in the completion of a suspended MAAC Tournament game Friday morning at Gartland Field. The Saints will face second seed Fairfield in an elimination game at 1 p.m.
Play resumed just before 10 a.m. this morning after yesterday's opening contest had been suspended with Niagara (16-28) holding a 3-2 lead through five innings. Thursday's game started more than four hours late due to an extended rain delay and was eventually halted due to darkness.
Playing in its first MAAC Tournament game in 10 years, Siena (21-25) rallied from an early 3-0 hole. The Purple Eagles opened the scoring Thursday night with a three-run top of the third, capped by a two-run single from Alexis Wayne.
The Saints got two runs back in the fourth on a run-scoring double from Shannon Jones and an RBI single from Alyssa Lancaster. Jones went 2-for-3 in the game and scored a pair of runs.
Siena then took early momentum when the game resumed Friday morning. Jessika - Jo Sandrini retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, giving the Saints a chance to tie it in the bottom half of the frame.
The Saints mounted a two-out rally as Jones laced a double to right and was singled home by Sandrini to knot the score.
But in the bottom of the seventh Niagara loaded the bases with one out. Amanda Werth worked a bases loaded walk to put Niagara back on top and Wayne followed with another two-run single to put it out of reach.
Sandrini went the distance for Siena, striking out eight and allowing six runs (four earned) as the Saints saw their five-game winning streak snapped and fell to the Purple Eagles for the first time in the past seven meetings.
MAAC Pitcher of the Year Jennifer Sansano lived up to her billing, striking out 12 and scattering six hits in going the distance for the Purple Eagles.
Niagara advances to the winner's bracket and plays third seed and tournament host Marist at 11 a.m.